Let’s talk about the best white paint colors for your home.

the best white paint colors and a remodeled galley kitchen view of side of refrigerator and door to bedroom

What is it about white paint colors?

There’s no denying that white is in. White paint colors have been around for a long time and yet they are as popular as ever. Whether your painting kitchen cabinets white or your walls, there’s a white for everyone.

I started my quest for the perfect white paint color when we were planning our kitchen remodel in our Illinois house. I checked out a lot of whites but ultimately narrowed it down and shared some of my favorites in my 5 popular whites for kitchen cabinets post.

5 popular white paint color chips with their name

While they’re all pretty colors, I did end up finding a favorite out of the 5. One thing you need to know about me is that when I find something I love, I stick with it. I used my true love white on the kitchen cabinets, as well as the rest of the kitchen, and now use it in our little cottage. Before we get to my all-time favorite though, I want to share another pretty white I’ve used.

Sherwin Williams Alabaster

I can’t take credit for choosing this color because it was already in our house when we moved in. I had no idea what color it was until we started our fireplace makeover. The previous owner was nice enough to leave all of the old paint, so I was able to figure out what it was and color match it.

SW Alabaster is a soft, warm white. It’s a pretty color but if you’re looking for bright white, this isn’t it.

the best white paint colors and a white brick fireplace with large tv on mantle

We also used it on the bathroom door. Actually most of the doors and trim are painted with SW Alabaster. I’ve changed a few rooms, like the powder room and guest bedroom we’re working on, but for the most part it’s all SW Alabaster.

The best white paint colors and a DIY towel rack made from a porch baluster hanging on the bathroom wall with a striped towel hanging on it

So, what is my all-time favorite white paint color?

Benjamin Moore White Dove

I can’t get enough of it. It’s the perfect white for kitchen cabinets, ceilings, trim, bathroom vanities…

You get the idea.

In my book you can’t really go wrong with it. Just like SW Alabaster it’s a soft white. Actually, they’re very similar, but I prefer BM White Dove.

Our kitchen remodel in Illinois? The paint color turned out to be the main attraction. We painted the tongue and groove plank ceiling in a pearl sheen and the kitchen cabinets were done in a satin sheen, as was the trim. All of it in BM White Dove.

The best white paint colors and white painted cabinets with brown granite countertops in small galley kitchen

Because I loved how it looked in our Illinois kitchen, we have continued to use it in our new little cottage. Initially, I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to use it in our new house. After all, lighting in a room plays a big part in how paint colors look in your house. I pulled all of my sample boards out when we moved in and I was thrilled to see that it looked just as good as it did in our old house.

The first test to see if it really worked was in the powder room we just finished. I used it on the plank walls, ceiling and trim. Even with no natural light it looks great.

The best white paint colors and a small powder room with gray vanity and silver mirror

The trim in the guest bedroom, the powder room barn door and the closet mirrored barn door all got the same treatment.

The best white paint colors and a barn door and toilet in tiny powder room

What can I say, I just love it.

The best white paint colors and a small closet with gray wallpaper and sliding mirrored barn door

So, how can you find your best white paint color out of all of the hundreds of options? You need to test some out…in the room that you want to use it in. Picking out a little paint chip in the store, without looking at it in your room, isn’t going to cut it.

What do I do?

I like to paint a sample on a large piece of poster board and then I put the board in the area that I want to paint. Keep it there a few days. Look at it in different light. I promise you’ll find your perfect match.

The best white paint colors…what are your picks?

 

pin this for later graphicFavorite white paint colors in a white kitchen, small powder room with white planks on wall, closet with wallpaper and sliding barn door

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I’m not sure if I’m more excited about spending less than $50 for our hallway redo or the fact that I’ve completed the first space in our new house, but it’s definitely a happy day here. I didn’t think I would be able to do anything until my feet were completely healed but this little hallway redo was easy and it was enough of a change that it satisfied my need to redo a room…for the moment anyway. Throw in the fact that it didn’t break the bank and you have the perfect project (and one happy hubs, because he’s always thrilled when a project doesn’t cost a lot).

A small hallway redo using gray paint, some farmhouse decor and lots of family photos. chatfieldcourt.com

Here is where we started…

This is looking toward the master bedroom, with the bathroom on the right and the living room and dining room to the left. Most of the house was painted with SW Navajo White and it looks yellow in almost every room, which isn’t bad but it’s really not my style.

new house reveal 12

Looking from the master to the guest bedroom.

new house reveal 2There were a couple of huge holes in the walls from a smoke detector that was mounted in the middle of the wall (who does that?) and an old alarm system that didn’t work, so they were removed and the walls were patched. We, and when I say “we” I mean me, also wanted to change the vintage ceiling light for something bigger that would light up this dim space.

The ceiling and trim were painted by the previous owners right before they put the house on the market in May, so I didn’t need to touch them. Once the walls were prepped, it was time for the good stuff…paint. I stuck with a light gray for this space and chose Benjamin Moore Horizon, a beautiful gray/blue. It was my first time using this color and I love how it turned out.

Looking toward the master.

A small hallway redo using gray paint, a bit of farmhouse decor and family photos. chatfieldcourt.com

I hung family photos in the hallway in our last house in Illinois and knew that I would probably do it here as well. This is really the only space in the house where I can put all of my favorites together. It’s my happy space filled with great memories of our girls.

Looking from the master to the very messy guest bedroom.

A small hallway redo using gray paint, some farmhouse decor and family photos. chatfieldcourt.com

We removed the old light and put up the brass fixture that I had in my entryway in our last house. It was a great find from ReStore and I snagged it for $20. I’m adding some brass touches to the bathroom so I thought that repeating it in the hallway would tie the two spaces together.

A small hallway redo using gray paint, some farmhouse decor and lots of family photos. chatfieldcourt.com

I was slightly nervous about hanging so much in this small space but I really love it.

A small hallway redo using gray paint, a bit of farmhouse decor and some family photos. chatfieldcourt.comI switched some of the photos and frames around but everything I used I already had. The only purchase was the paint, and I have half of it left to do another space.

A small hallway redo using gray paint, a bit of farmhouse decor and lots of family photos. chatfieldcourt.comJust finishing this space, and having family photos out so that we can see them every day, has really made our new house feel like home. I’m excited to start the next project.

What’s new with you? Have you finished any projects lately?

 

Looking for hallway decorating ideas and inspiration? Check out this post.

small hallway decorating ideas 2

Small Hallway Decorating Ideas

 

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Although we haven’t closed on our house yet, I’ve been dreaming about all of the projects I want to do once we move in. One of the first things that will happen is that I’ll pick paint colors for the rooms. In our Illinois house, I used gray in all but 2 rooms and loved the way they turned out, so I’m hoping to use them again in our new house. I know that lighting is different in every house, and I won’t truly know what will work until we’re in and I have paint on the walls, but I have some ideas about what I’ll try.

There are literally thousands out there but here are my picks for 7 great gray paint colors. Some are favorites that I’ve used and the rest are colors that I always find myself pinning, but they’re all pretty fabulous.

There's so many great grays to choose from, but here are my 7 of my favoritet gray paint colors from Benjamin Moore. | chatfieldcourt.com

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl – My favorite gray! I used this color in several rooms in my last house and loved it so it’s definitely a top contender for the new house. It’s a warm gray that has more yellow in it than blue and worked well with the trim, ceilings and kitchen cabinets that were painted with BM White Dove. I’ve used it full strength, in the original formula, and at 50% strength and loved them both.

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl used in the living room, plus 6 other great gray paint colors that you can use in your home. | chatfieldcourt.com

Chatfield Court

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl used in the kitchen, plus 6 other great gray paint colors that you can use in your home. | chatfieldcourt.com

Chatfield Court

Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal – a beautiful and versatile dark gray that works with almost everything.

Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal used in a bedroom, plus 6 other great gray paint colors that you can use in your home. Image via BHG.com

BHG.com

Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist – a soft warm gray that has a slight purple undertone.

Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist used in a bedroom, plus 6 other great gray paint colors that you can use in your home. Image via BHG.comBHG.com

Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron – I love this color and used it on the interior of both my front and back doors in our Illinois house. It may look black but it’s a gray/brown/black that is less harsh, and it pairs well with BM Gray Owl.

Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron used in the kitchen, plus 6 other great gray paint colors that you can use in your home. | chatfieldcourt.comChatfield Court

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray – this is a pale neutral gray that has warm undertones. So pretty in this bright and beautiful kitchen. Image via Studio McGee.

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray used in a bright kitchen, plus 6 other great gray paint colors that you can use in your home. Image via Studio McGee

Studio McGee

Benjamin Moore Hazy Skies – I used this pretty gray-green in our Illinois master bedroom. This room didn’t get a ton of light so the color was more green than gray.

Benjamin Moore Hazy Skies used in the master bedroom, plus 6 other great gray paint colors that you can use in your home. | chatfieldcourt.com

Chatfield Court

BM Edgecomb Gray – A soft, warm gray/greige that looks best in a room that gets tons of natural light.

Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray used in a guest bedroom, plus 6 other great gray paint colors that you can use in your home. Image via Houzz: Tamara Mac DesignHouzz: Tamara Mac Design

Of course, this is just a (very) small sampling of great grays. The only way to know what works best in your space is to sample it in your room. Two important things to remember about paint…it can easily be changed if i doesn’t work and it can make the biggest impact in your room, it was definitely a game changer in my kitchen.

So, I have my gray paint samples and I’m ready to go, once we get into the house. The first room up for a change is the master. Stay tuned…

What do you think about gray paint? Do you have a favorite or have you moved on?

Check out my small kitchen that was painted with BM Gray Owl.

Kitchen remodel with walls painted in BM Gray Owl and cabinets, ceiling and trim painted in BM White Dove. | chatfieldcourt.com

Small Kitchen Remodel

Our front door painted with BM Wrought Iron.

Entryway door painted with BM Wrought Iron. | chatfieldcourt.comFront Door Refresh

 

For more paint inspirationeasy DIY’s and behind the scenes fun, make sure you follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!

 

 


 

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Before I share all of the kitchen remodel details, I want to take a moment to thank you for all of the sweet comments and emails from the reveal. I’ve always known that I had the best readers and you all proved it again and again during this whole process, by sharing words of encouragement and cheering us on when we felt like we would never get done. I am truly grateful.

Turning a small, dark galley kitchen into a light, bright space. Get all of the kitchen remodel details from paint colors to tile and countertops.| chatfieldcourt.com

This is a long one so grab a cup of coffee and enjoy. If you make it through to the end you’ll find all of my sources and projects with links, along with an announcement.

Small kitchen remodel details with sources with after photos | chatfieldcourt.com

I shared the reveal a few days ago and only showed a few before shots and a lot of afters, so today I wanted to give you a quick summary of the projects that we did and try to answer some of the questions I’ve gotten.

Small kitchen remodel details and sources with after photos | chatfieldcourt.com

When we started the remodel on our small galley kitchen in January 2015, we had 3 main goals we wanted to accomplish. We wanted to lighten up the space, add more storage and do it all on a budget. Our plan was to complete everything in 6 months but…yeah, that didn’t happen.

Small kitchen remodel details and before photos | chatfieldcourt.com

The project that started it all off was the removal of the two soffits. A messy and dirty job but it really opened the space up.

Kitchen remodel details about soffit removal | chatfieldcourt.com

After we patched the ceiling and walls, we installed a plank ceiling. A couple of coats of paint later and our first big project was complete. Wow, talk about changing a room. I love it!

Kitchen remodel details and adding a diy plank ceiling | chatfieldcourt.com

The next project to get tackled was the custom cabinet we built around the refrigerator. It added a ton of extra storage and toned down the look of the fridge (if that’s even possible when you have a large gray box in a small room).

Kitchen remodel details and adding a custom cabinet around a refrigertor | chatfieldcourt.com

Once the fridge was done we worked on the DIY range hood. I wanted to change the small stainless steel one that was there, so we took it apart and used the insides to make our own custom hood. I think the one that we built is a much better fit in our new kitchen.

Kitchen remodel details and adding a custom range hood before and after | chatfieldcourt.com

Kitchen remodel details and info on adding a custom range hood| chatfieldcourt.com

The other side of the kitchen got some attention when we raised the window sill and built a custom cabinet that would give us more countertop space and more storage, which is what we needed most in here.

Kitchen remodel details and info on adding more storage with a custom cabinet| chatfieldcourt.com

Kitchen remodel details and info on adding more storage and counterspace| chatfieldcourt.comI had a few items on my “wish” list for the kitchen and built-in garbage/recycle bins was at the top. Now they are hidden away and I’m so happy with the way it turned out.

Kitchen remodel details and info on adding more storage | chatfieldcourt.comWhile all of the cabinet building was going on, I was working on the one thing that made the biggest difference in this small space, painting all of the kitchen cabinets. If you’ve ever done this then you know that it’s a monumental task. I will admit that, because of my back injury, it took me almost a year to finish, but I did it.

kitchen reno painted cabinets

The kitchen sink was the next project. We had a double stainless steel sink before and I wanted a change so we went with the DOMSJÖ from IKEA. It’s just a single bowl but it’s nice and big to work in and I love it!

Kitchen remodel details and info on adding a farmhouse sink and photos | chatfieldcourt.com

Once the sink was installed and all of the cabinets were built, it was time to choose tile and countertops. I always knew that we would have a subway backsplash but choosing the countertops was a more difficult decision. We finally decided on granite and began the most difficult project of the whole remodel, cutting and installing the granite. We were on a budget with this whole remodel so we chose to do it all on our own, a job we’ve never done before…ever. It took us two weekends to finish and it was nerve-wracking until the end. All we kept thinking about was all the money that would be wasted if we cut wrong or cracked it while working on it. Thankfully it all worked out and we got beautiful countertops on a budget.

Kitchen remodel details and info on granite countertops and photos | chatfieldcourt.comThe subway tile backsplash with gray grout was next and, once it was all done, we knew that the end was in sight.

Kitchen remodel details and info on adding a subway tile backsplash | chatfieldcourt.com

One thing that we did that really opened the space was to remove a cabinet between the two windows on the sink wall. We added a barn wood shelf, for a little texture and to break up the white, subway tiled wall, and I think it may be my favorite thing in the kitchen.

Kitchen remodel details and info on adding a barn wood shelf and photos | chatfieldcourt.com

Because this is a small space there are only 2 walls that we can paint to add a little bit of color. After much debate, and a lot of swatches, I went with the same color I used in the adjoining living/dining area, BM Gray Owl at 50% strength. I also painted the back door a pretty dark gray, BM Wrought Iron. There’s a little gray in the countertops that I loved and the wall and door colors really bring it out.

Kitchen remodel details and info on paint colors and photos | chatfieldcourt.com

We still had a couple of big projects to finish though and one of them was lighting. The only working light in the room before the remodel was a center ceiling light. It took me 3 tries to find the perfect one  but, in the end, I found a beautiful pendant light.

Kitchen remodel details and info on lighting and photos | chatfieldcourt.com

One pendant light was not enough for this space so we added recessed lighting. This project was the one that the hubs dreaded most, and kept putting off, but they really look great and made a huge difference, especially when we’re working in the kitchen at night.

Kitchen remodel details and after details on recessed lighting and photos | chatfieldcourt.com

The final project was to add new cabinet doors to the custom cabinet we built on the sink side of the kitchen. Months ago we were lucky enough to find 2 similar cabinet doors, at the right size at a local ReStore, but we needed 3 more. We discussed making them but, by the time we bought the correct tools and wood to make them, we could order 3 already made and ready to paint. So we went the least expensive route and ordered them. Once they arrived I did a quick sanding, a coat of primer and 2 coats of paint and they were ready to hang.

Kitchen remodel details and after details and photos | chatfieldcourt.com

After 418 days and a ton of projects, our remodel is complete and I truly love it all!

One more before and after, because this post isn’t long enough already. 😉

Kitchen remodel details and before and after photos | chatfieldcourt.com

Small kitchen remodel details and reveal photos | chatfieldcourt.com

Small kitchen remodel details and before and after photos | chatfieldcourt.com

Kitchen remodel details and reveal photos | chatfieldcourt.com

Phew, that took almost as long as the remodel did (almost). Thanks for sticking with me through this long post and the last 418 days of our remodel. If you have any questions about anything we did, feel free to email me or leave a comment.

Now go take a nap, you earned it. 😉

Projects (with links to the posts)

Sources

  • ceiling paint – BM White Dove, pearl finish
  • cabinet paint – BM White Dove Advance, satin finish
  • wall paint – BM Gray Owl, 50% strength
  • back door paint – BM Wrought Iron
  • pendant light – West Elm; love this one too! (affiliate link)*
  • recessed lights – Lowes
  • subway tile – Floor & Decor
  • granite countertops – Floor & Decor
  • kitchen sink – IKEA DOMSJÖ
  • cabinet hardware – Pottery Barn; similar (affiliate link)*
  • chalkboard w/ calendar – a DIY project by me
  • Mason jar lamp – a DIY project by me
  • wall brackets for shelf – Signature Hardware
  • barn wood for shelf – local flea market
  • cutting boards on shelf – HomeGoods

In case you missed it, here is the reveal…

kitchen reveal pinterest 2

Kitchen Remodel Reveal

Two days after we finished the remodel we put the house on the market and sold it to move to  North Carolina (totally unexpected). You can see our new house, with a video tour, here.

new house reveal 18

New House Reveal (with a video)

 

*You can find my disclosure here.

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Sometimes real life gets in the way and that’s exactly what’s been happening here.

Painting a small kitchen with Benjamin Moore Gray Owl on the walls and BM Wrought Iron on the door. | chatfieldcourt.comI was really, really hoping that this post would be a kitchen reveal but no such luck. December and January turned out to be a bust, as far as the kitchen renovation goes. Right after the New Year the hubs’ truck broke down and the week after that mine went, which meant he spent 3 weekends in a row in the cold garage fixing our cars instead of working in the kitchen. The weekend after both cars were fixed, our youngest daughter was in a horrible car accident. All is well now but that terrible weekend was spent on the phone, the kitchen far from our minds. With all of that going on, plus the holidays, we were never able to get to the bigger projects that are left on the list.

Before we painted our kitchen with Benjamin Moore Gray Owl. | chatfieldcourt.com

Even though we had no time on the weekends to work on the big stuff, I was able to finish up a few painting projects on my own. We have two walls in our small space and I finally finished painting them. It wasn’t like it took me long to paint but it did take forever for me to decide on a color. In the end I went with BM Gray Owl, at 50%, the same color that’s in the living room and back hallway.

Painting a small kitchen with Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron and Gray Owl. | chatfieldcourt.comI also gave the back door a fresh coat of paint, BM Wrought Iron. It’s not black but a pretty dark gray and I love it. You can clearly see that the lighter gray of the door did not go with the Gray Owl on the walls and I couldn’t paint over it fast enough.

Painting a kitchen with Benjamin Moore Gray Owl on the walls. | chatfieldcourt.com

Finn was warming himself in the sun and would not budge. He must have been cold because he usually turns away from me as soon as I pick up my camera.

I’ve painted this door 3 times and this one will be my last. I found a beautiful wooden door at ReStore for $8 and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get the mister to hang it for me in the spring. It will take some convincing but I’m up for the challenge.

Painting a small kitchen with Benjamin Moore Gray Owl on the walls. | chatfieldcourt.com

My magnolia wreath is still hanging from Christmas and, even though the leaves have dried, it still looks beautiful.

Kitchen back door painted with Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron. | chatfieldcourt.comI’m trying to share pictures of the painted walls without giving you a complete reveal but it’s not an easy task when your kitchen is as small as mine.

A small galley kitchen painted with Benjamin Moore Gray Owl. | chatfieldcourt.comJust a few more projects and I’ll be able to show you every inch. On the list is the installation of the recessed lights, painting the ceiling, painting the cabinet kicks and adding 3 cabinet doors (that are on order). Hopefully February will be a more productive month.

Have you been able to finish any projects since the holidays?

Here’s a few other projects that we’ve done in the kitchen.

Turning a thrifted vintage mirror into a chalkboard for my kitchen. | chatfieldcourt.com

Vintage Mirror to Kitchen Chalkboard

Lighting ideas for a small galley kitchen. | chatfieldcourt.com

Kitchen Lighting Ideas

 

 

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On Monday, I shared the first pics of my painted kitchen cabinets on the stove wall. It took me a long time to get them from dark, reddish cabinets to the creamy white they are today. I’ve learned a few things along the way so I thought I’d share them with you.

Tips For Painting Kitchen Cabinets | chatfieldcourt.com

I painted my builder grade bathroom vanity 2 years ago but I’ve never painted kitchen cabinets before and, let me tell you, it’s one tough job.

Tips For Painting Kitchen Cabinets | chatfieldcourt.com

There are so many tutorials online on painting kitchen cabinets, but I thought I’d just quickly skim through a few steps and share some tips.

Tips For Painting Kitchen Cabinets | chatfieldcourt.com

The first thing I did was to remove the cabinet doors and drawers on the stove wall. As I removed each door, I took it into the basement and removed the hardware and hinges. I put that one door’s hardware in a labeled sandwich bag (with a location and number) and zipped it up. That same number was also put in the hinge holes of the door, because they would not be painted.

Tips For Painting Kitchen Cabinets | chatfieldcourt.comTips For Painting Kitchen Cabinets | chatfieldcourt.comOnce all of my doors were removed and numbered, I used a high grit sandpaper and sanded the front and back of each. Then I used a mixture of TSP and warm water to thoroughly wipe down the door to remove the dust from sanding and grease from cooking.

Tips For Painting Kitchen Cabinets | chatfieldcourt.com

Once dry, I primed one side, waited for that to dry, lightly sanded, wiped it down to remove the dust, and applied one coat of paint using BM White Dove. In the end, each side of the cabinet door received 1 coat of primer, 3 coats of paint and lots of sanding in between.

Tips For Painting Kitchen Cabinets | chatfieldcourt.com

A quick note about primer…because I have used this paint before, I knew that it took several coats to cover well so, hoping to cut out at least one extra coat, I got my primer tinted in the same color as my paint. It doesn’t cost extra and I didn’t have to worry about covering up a bright white color.

Some online tutorials state that you don’t need to sand between coats, but I’m not taking any chances that the finish on my newly painted cabinets doesn’t last. I’d rather do the job right the first time so I don’t have to redo it in a year. Hopefully my diligence pays off and, if it doesn’t, you’ll be the first to know. 😉

Tips For Painting Kitchen Cabinets | chatfieldcourt.com

I didn’t use any special painting techniques, just a brush to paint the inset panels, working carefully to not spread my paint too thin but not letting it puddle. Then I used a small roller to cover everything else. I let that dry for at least 24 hours (usually longer) and then I would lightly sand, wipe away the dust and paint again…X3.

Tips For Painting Kitchen Cabinets | chatfieldcourt.com

Painting the cabinets was a much easier task. I followed the same steps with sanding, cleaning, priming, sanding and painting, but I had to add a step of filling staple holes with wood putty and sanding once dry, something that I didn’t have to do with the doors and drawers. Have I told you how much I love to sand (she says as she rolls her eyes)?

Tips For Painting Kitchen Cabinets | chatfieldcourt.com

The results were a beautiful and smooth finish. I believe that the paint I’m using is really the reason why, Benjamin Moore Advance White Dove in a satin finish. It bills itself as a paint that “offers the application and performance of oil based paint”, but cleans up with soap and water. It does take a little longer to dry and cure, but the finish of it is beautiful. BTW, this is not a sponsored post and I paid for my own paint, which is a bit pricey, but I love the finish and durability I get with it. I’ve used it on all of my trim and doors, as well as my bathroom vanity, which gets bumped a lot in our small bathroom, so I know it really holds up.

Tips For Painting Kitchen Cabinets | chatfieldcourt.com

We may have the stove wall cabinets done and looking good but the cabinets by the sink are calling my name. If you need me, I’ll be in the basement sanding and painting.

Have you ever painted your kitchen cabinets? Any tips you care to share?

Easy to do tips and tricks for painting kitchen cabinets. | chatfieldcourt.com

 

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